Women in Healthcare: Beyond the Bedside
Lack of gender diversity in the healthcare industry continues to present a challenge for women seeking non-traditional opportunities. There is still a perception that women are more successful working at the bed side or in the back office versus higher-impact roles through the organization.
Women in Healthcare Leadership
Access to the C-suite is hard to come by for women striving to get to the top. In fact, a recent study by Rock Health reported the following statistics regarding the composition of women in various healthcare positions. Their findings show that women comprise:
- 73 percent of medical and health services managers
- 47 percent of medical school graduates
- 32 percent of physicians and surgeons
- 18 percent of hospital CEOs
- 14 percent of partners at healthcare venture capitalists
- 4 percent of healthcare company CEOs
Women who have achieved the highest levels in their healthcare professions also believe that women as a whole are naturally well suited to leadership opportunities. The main reason for this is because women are the primary healthcare “consumers” in today’s marketplace. They are the caregivers in their homes, make the decisions about seeking medical care, and understand where the greatest needs exist.
Women in Healthcare Informatics
Women in healthcare informatics and information technology are up against their own set of challenges, although there is a growing presence of women in the field, particularly on the vendor side. Knowledge of technology or clinical work can only go so far. You must also understand the business of healthcare, and how informatics impact nursing, pharmacy, telemedicine, finance, patient billing, insurance and reimbursement, and more.
Enrolling in a healthcare informatics master’s program can help familiarize you with clinical workflows and how data is communicated across the entire patient care delivery process. You will learn how to think logically and strategically, solve problems from a bigger picture perspective, and communicate with stakeholders throughout a healthcare organization.
The field continues to evolve with each new technology and device that becomes available. Having an understanding of how clinicians and others use these tools can help you create effective plans for integrating new types of information into existing systems and processes.
There is ample room for visionary talent to lead healthcare informatics into the future. People with the knowledge, skill, and education to optimize data for better patient care should easily move ahead in their careers, regardless of gender.